Train of Thanks 19-20

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

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March is almost over, and holy week is here! While some are getting pumped up for their holy week escapades, we in the church are busy preppin’ up for our “Journey to the Cross” on March 23-25, 5pm-10pm at the Marikina Freedom Park. “Journey”, is an interactive walkthrough to relive the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is open to all and is free of charge!

Journey

Going back to the essence of this blog series, let me recall all my thanksgivings for the past few weeks:

1. I am grateful for the physical strength and wisdom the Lord has given me as I speak for the Servant’s Orientation for the “Journey”. I explained in detail the reasons and lessons behind all the stations and together with the volunteers, we were reminded of the actual journey Jesus went through to save us. The story of His death and resurrection is not just something we should be familiar with – it is something we embrace and live in faith. It shapes us from the inside and is manifested in our actions. Jesus died on the cross and lived again for our sins – this is the basis of our allegiance to Him.

2. Last Sunday was packed with series of opportunities to teach and challenge behind the pulpit. I was requested to teach for the 3rd module of our Membership 101 class in the morning, tasked to challenge the congregation for tithes and offering for the 2nd service and scheduled to speak for the Salt and Light service in the afternoon. It was a super-packed day! Thank God for sustaining me with strength!

3. I praise the Lord for the lives of the Youth and Teens He led me to minister to. It is a very daunting task, I may say but very rewarding. To be honest I am not a cheerful, sociable kind of person unlike other youth leaders I know that’s why I am grateful for the people who support me in this ministry. Special mention to the most cheerful person I know, Demdem! 🙂

If I may add, I enjoyed listening to the point of views and arguments of the participants of our debate about our lesson on image and character. It’s overwhelming to know that once most of them were just my Grade 3 Sunday school students and now they are continuously maturing in the Lord.

4. If there is a highlight for my thanksgiving for these past weeks, it is my entry to Ptr. Ronald Molmisa’s 2nd batch of Young Ezra Project trainees. Supposedly for ages 18-25 aspiring writers, I still took my chance for this once in a lifetime opportunity to be mentored for writing – one thing that I really love doing. In short, I made it to his final list, though I am already 27 years old! All by God’s grace! All the more I am so excited for God’s purposes in my life.

5. As part of Ptr. Ronald’s mentoring program, he required us to attend Christian Writers’ Fellowship held at OMF, Mandaluyong. It is overwhelming to be in a room packed with Christian writers (and literally hundreds of books around!), hearing their testimonies on how being a part of a writing club helped them in their craft. The highlight of the event was Dr. Melba Maggay’s talk on the Role of Christian Writers in a Fast Changing World. Through her talk I appreciated my identity as a Filipino, and how we have become somehow disconnected with our national identity. According to Dr. Maggay, that there is something wrong when we cannot speak to our own people. As writers we have to enter the universe of discourse of the people. Her talk was an “ouch” moment, because as a writers write to express themselves. However Christian writers ought to communicate God’s timeless message of truth and grace, thus the need to connect to their readers and enter their universe of discourse.

Holy Week is up! Don’t forget to remember what the Lord has done for you, not just for this season but for all the days to come.

Train of Thanks 12-13

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

I am making a back-to-back version of my Monday thanksgivings because of, *umm, confession* complacency. But let me redeem myself with some of the awesome things that happened to me for the past two weeks. For God is good and greatly to be praised!

  1. I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to attend the National Leaders Strategic Conference and Retreat (NLSCR) of Foursquare Philippines for the second time, recently held at Davao City Foursquare Gospel Church. Hearing from the national leadership and working with the district leaders to plan and envision the future of the denomination to be a missional movement for the cause of Christ is an overwhelming experience. I thank God for letting me witness how driven the pastors are in accomplishing the Great Commission.
  2. I was able to meet the Christian Education directors and representatives of the 27 districts of Foursquare churches in the Philippines. Incidentally I also represented my district for the National Foursquare Youth Presidents meeting. Issues were discussed, questions were raised and not a few pictures and groupies were taken. In the end, plans we’re ruled out and some matters were settled. Working with the Christian Educators and Youth Leaders from different regions is a both encouraging and refreshing.IMG_1141
  3. Would you believe that this is the first time I boarded a plane? Now I am scrapping it off my bucket list. 🙂
  4. Barry Buzza, former national leader of the Foursquare Church in Canada served as the NLSCR plenary speaker with his lessons on serendipities on the life of David. I really appreciate the extent of his preparation, carefully examining the life of David and drawing out 70 conclusions that relates to the pastorate. I thank the Lord for His revelations through Dr. Buzza’s series of preaching.
  5. I was dared and I survived durian shake! Haha! Also, the MMND delegates for NLSCR, of which I am a part of, had the chance to bond as we roam around Davao and munched on the sumptuous meals (a lot of eat-all-you-can places, mind you! I was able to fill myself with 3 different sessions of buffet breakfast and lunch. One of the best part of the (food) trip was the grilled tuna and kilawin! Awesome!
  6. My guest blogging invitation did materialize! I thank God for the wisdom that I was able to share my biblical insights on how to move on from your past mistakes and how to keep on moving forward. I thank Ms. Charmaine of Organized Lunacy for hosting my blog post. Visit my guest blog here: (link)
  7. When I came back to Manila, I catched up with some of my best buddies and we ended up in Bieter Sizzling Place at B.G. Molina St. Parang, Marikina City. The place is oozing with colors and fun illustrations, which complements the friendliness of the staff and the creativity of their menu. It’s as if I am warped inside a video game. We’ve decided to visit the place again some other time.
  8. I thank the Lord that my online purchase, a stretchable belt bag for my biking sessions, reached me this time. Unlike my previous purchase, I don’t know where in the world it landed. I was also able to buy an arm sleeves and gloves, which I first used for my Mt. Talamitam escapade!
  9. I feel overwhelmed and encouraged every time I sit in the Sunday school class of the teenagers. I feel like I am going back in time when I was just like them, listening to the testimonies of my classmates and sharing my own. I see the future in the young generation today. Thus my conclusion, whatever way we shape the youth of today will be the kind of mold the future will have. Kudos to all the educators who willingly share their lives to the young generation.
  10. We were able to conquer the summit of Mt. Talamitam! I don’t want to spoil the moment because this has to go on a separate post. But praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation!

There you have it, my two-week thanksgiving roundup. What are the things that you are thankful for the last week?

Train of Thanks 11

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

I am posting this Train of Thanks post not on a Monday because I was very busy yesterday. But better late than never right? The good thing is even when we sometimes get behind our schedule and frustrate our plans, God is never late in accomplishing His plans in our life. That alone is a great blessing we can always praise Him for.

Let’s start the round up!

  1. I am thankful for the kindness of my client for allowing me to take a leave for a week and for her payment for my VA services – just in time for my Davao errands! I am thankful that my PayPal account does not remain stagnant. 😀
  2. I was forced to rest from my daily work due to *excuse me* LBM. I am thankful for the healing, and also thankful for the rest.
  3. This week has the first payday weekday of the year! Yay!
  4. I was given a chance to speak about the topic “Feed My Sheep”, in reference to Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter on John 21. During and after my message preparation, my appreciation of Jesus being the Good Shepherd to His pasture soared higher. I even posted a status about it. Researching on the behaviour of the sheep and relating it to myself being a wayward sheep at times, I could not help myself but thank God for tending me in spite of all my waywardness. In every sermon preparation, the speaker is the first recipient of every rebuke, every instruction and every blessing God’s word brings.Quote 3
  5. I could not thank God enough for His timely provisions. I thank God for people He uses to bless me materially so I have some money to spare for the busy week to come (has now come as I am writing this).

What are your thanksgivings for the week?

Train of Thanks 09

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

It’s 2016! Yuhuu!

I am writing this post in pain due to migraine. I have the option to allow this blog post to pass, but I say ‘NO!’ When it comes to giving back my thanksgiving to the Lord, I desire not to stay silent. I want to practice giving credit and thanks to whom gratitude is due.

  1. Vineyard Workers’ Appreciation Day. It is an encouragement to be reminded that I am serving the King of Kings alongside people who love the Lord like me. It feels more uplifting knowing that your family members are also actively involved in their respective ministries. This coming year, the church is again challenged to answer the call for ministry. Until know I am praying for exactly where the Lord wants me to focus into but my answer will be, “count me in!”image
  2. Binangonan bike tour and the best tasting tapsilog. I think I have tasted the best tapsilog in town – or should I say out of town! If you happen to visit Michelle’s Kitchenette along Manila East Road, Binangonan Rizal, don’t leave without ever trying their tapsilog. Served in a very presentable wooden plate, you will definitely have a taste of province’s authentic palate. On our return to conquer Cardona and Morong the next time, we’ll definitely return to the place and satisfy our tapsi-craving.

     

  3. Marikina City Grand Fireworks Display. It has been a tradition among my best buddies to witness the annual fireworks display sponsored by the city government of Marikina. Thousands of people jammed with Parokya ni Edgar, among other guests, eventually resulting to flying plastic bottles and tin cans. It was fun and scary at the same time. But more than the guest artists, it is awesome to behold the dancing lights in the sky with your friends. I was even able to write a poem in reference to the fireworks. In my honest assessment though, this years’ presentation is a little less spectacular compared to previous years.
  4. FSY PASasalamat KO. Before the year ends, we have managed to push through with our Christmas fellowship and mini-reunion. We’re reminded to be grateful for everything, because first and foremost, this is the will of God for us as Christians.
  5. Mother’s recovery. We celebrated Christmas and New Year with my mother suffering from pain on her hip, which was eventually diagnosed as UTI. Her blood pressure also dropped low, and her body temperature went up. Thankfully, my titas were present to help us attend to my mother and do the festivity preparations. As of writing, my mother is already feeling well. Praise be to God!

This year has a lot of things in store for us. Are you ready for your blessings?

Train of Thanks 07

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

We will never run out of reasons to thank God for – be it material blessings, wisdom, company of people we dearly love, our health and sanity, and yes even the very air we breathe and the water we drink. If we will just think about it, we are definitely blessed with a lot of good things from the Lord.

It’s the time of the week again and before I formally welcome the Christmas week, let me round up some of the highlights and my thanksgiving for the past week.

  1. PSA Mini Meet-up – I was able to meet two of my co-blogger and co-officer from the Philippine Singles Association. Yes may ganun talagang grupo and I am a proud member 🙂 The group is open to all single, unattached bloggers. We have future plans and outreach ideas and I can say, this mini meet up is a tiny step closer towards our goals. Haha! Kelan kaya yung grand?
  2. I also thank God for the time to catch up with a friend and an accountability partner. It is glad to know that somehow, along your spiritual journey, you got someone on your back to pray for you and really minister to you in matters you might left unchecked. It’s doubly awesome when you know you can do the same ministry to that person.
  3. For the strength and divine favour for the Membership 101 and SNLS talks! I thank God for helping me share the Word with people in spite of my claim that I am an introvert. Haha! Most of all, I am thankful for the power of the Word to rebuke me first before I deliver the message. A double edged sword indeed.
  4. Back to Bob Ong books!image
  5. I am glad to finish Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 1 after a few weeks. Medyo late kasi dapat noon pa, but I so love the series of plot twists in the story. I’m just wondering how long will it take me to catch up with all the episodes, considering I’m thinking na isunod ang Agent Carter, Jessica Jones and Daredevil? Seriously, thanks Marvel.

Woah! Ilang tulog na lang, Christmas na! What are the things you’re thankful for?

Train of Thanks 05

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

I can say that this is a very productive week for me. The dawn of my 27th birthday is full of amazing surprises and life learning. Whatever I have on my lap, whether big or small, I believe God should get the credit because

“every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

And here are some of the things that I am thankful for this week:

  1. I was invited (and given a treat, yay!) by my pastor and her family, together with two other church friends to watch A Second Chance. The movie is great and made me realize that marriage is more than just a phase in any romantic relationship – it is a covenant, na kahit na anong mangyari, you have to embrace your “what is”, minsan at the expense of your “what if’s”. One of my hugot lines from the movie:

Popoy: I lost him. I lost the man you married, and I’m sorry. This is me at my worst. Kaya mo pa ba akong mahalin? Can you honestly love a failure?”

Basha: “Kung kailangan kong maghintay hanggang makita mo ulit ang asawa ko, maghihintay ako.”

  1. New pair of pants! A very comfy pair and I got it on a 20% discount.
  2. I was able to join iBlog11 – a 2-day blogging summit presented by the Office of the Associate Dean of the U.P. College of Law and the U.P. Law Internet and Society Program. The summit was held at the Penthouse Lecture Room, U.P. Law Center, U.P. DIliman and was attended by seasoned and newbie bloggers and digital influencers alike. I was even able to meet the esteemed Dr.Eamer of the iamdoctoreamer.wordpress.com, a friend, and the man behind the P.S.A. I’ll blog about some of the helpful insights I learned from the summit on my future posts. Before I forget, I was able to bring home with me iBlog shirts, both from 1st and 2nd day!image

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    Mr. James Jimenez of COMELEC on his topic “Role of Blogs and Social Media in Philippine Elections
  3. After my substitutionary talk for our church’s Membership 101, I rushed to Ascott BGC to join the Payoneer’s Freelancing Forum. Since this is my first time to join such forum, I feel so encouraged to know that freelancing is already a booming industry in the country and no longer are we “boxed” into traditional businesses and professions. We can opt to pursue our passion without actually ending up broke. I am glad to meet people who work in the confines of their home and are actually enjoying what they do! I’ll blog about Payoneer soon!image

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    Sorry sa crappy and blurry image. Haha! Pero this is Mr. Rafael Pekson II of Workxpresso for “Strategies in Digital Marketing, Service and Support”
  4. On my way home from Ascott, I just roamed around the not-so-familiar streets of BGC. I seldom visit the place so I really don’t know where I am actually going, until I made it to High Street. Dahil nandun na rin ako, naglakad-lakad na rin ako at nagtitingin. I even saw Santa Claus! Haha! J I realized that sometimes, it is worthwhile to spend time alone in places that are not on your usual routine. I had time to pray while walking, appreciate the scenery, and the people going to and fro every street. A refreshing experience indeed.imageimage

That’s about my week. How about yours? Pansin ko lang ang dami ko nang utang na posts. Haha!

Train of Thanks 04

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

It’s Monday once again, and before we formally welcome December tomorrow, allow me to send you my warm advanced greeting – Merry Christmas!

This week is filled with a lot of things to thank God for! Actually kung iisipin, lahat naman ng linggo at araw ay punong-puno ng mga bagay na maaaring ipagpasalamat sa Diyos. The Christmas rush is already rushing into our streets, our television sets and even felt by our pockets! Nararamdaman mo na ba? Haha!

  1. It has been a long time since I really gave priority to spend quality time with my family, especially with my parents. I am thankful for opportunities that I can serve them through my time and somehow, treating them even with simple dinner or taking them out for window shopping 🙂 Hahah!
  2. I am thankful for the privilege of serving the church in our 47th Church Anniversary, along with my all volunteers. It is a delight to serve the King of kings alongside people who loves the Lord as much as you do. Indeed, there is no other greater thing in this world that can compare with privilege of serving the One who has set us free.
  3. Itutuloy ko na: I am one with my whole church family, Marikina Foursquare Gospel Church, in thanking the Lord for His faithfulness to us, guiding us though ups and downs in the last 47 years of our church. I may not be present during the times when the church was conceived through prayers and when the first members started to congregate, but I am sure that the Lord is always present not just years ago but also in the coming years ahead. He is faithful indeed, and as members of the body of Christ, we’ll be ever grateful. Search for #MFGCat47 sa Facebook for pictures. Ohh! We had Ms. Miriam Quiambao, Ms. Universe 1999 1st Runner-up as our guest sharer. Will post my reflections na lang about her talk some other time.  Here’s my take on her preachimony (link here).
  4. For meaningful talks with my (some kasi wala yung iba) best of friends, I am so thankful. After our church anniversary celebration, Kuya Benjie, Henry and I had the chance to do the usual stuff we do even when we were still in teenage years – bibili ng makakain at tatambay, magkukwentuhan ng mga life goals at kung ano-ano pa. It is a blessing to know that you have friends who listen to you and never gets tired of doing so, tapos tatawa na lang kayo sa mga simple sights and pleasures sa paligid niyo. Oh, great feeling!
  5. Of course, for my birthday! I don’t usually celebrate birthdays but I appreciate people who remember me and pray for me. Though nasabi ko na ito sa previous post ko (my poem of appreciation for all people who are there for me always), I will never run out of reasons to thank the Lord for all of you. I may not be able to name names, but God knows who you are. My deepest gratitude.

And to you who reads this post, my appreciation. May this post be a challenge for you to share what are the things you are thankful for? As the old hymn goes, “Count your blessings, name them one by one”.

-Marts-